The first team have started the 2011/12 season in sublime form, remaining unbeaten in the league right up to the Christmas break, this is definitely shaping out to be a great season for OPMs. As always we had to say goodbye to some excellent players and friends at the end of last season however both new and old boys have stepped in to fill the gaps admirably, we have welcomed in players from other clubs and it is excellent to see so many youngsters representing us at the highest level.

We have a well balanced mix of youth and experience which has led to some exciting and skilful rugby in which we have blown teams out of the water.  This has been down to the hard work and commitment of all players in the club and the coaching staff, which has been strengthened by the addition of Steve Luffman as backs coach. Leigh Puttock continues to lead as head coach and the progression of the team is clear to see in match results and the league table.

The 2010/11 season was a time of consolidation and rebuilding and we had to fight hard to establish ourselves in what was and still is a very competitive league. We showed grit and determination and showed a tremendous team spirit which, combined with the skills and tactics developed at training, has now solidified our promotion aspirations and regained our respect in Devon rugby. Everyone at the club is pulling in the same direction and there is a great feel and buzz especially in the OPM Suite after games.

Now is an exciting time to be a part of OPM RFC and there is a palpable hue of anticipation and expectation as to what we can achieve. I know all involved are eagerly awaiting the second half of the season and will relish the challenges we are sure to face. We hope you can join us for our games on Saturdays and for a few beers afterwards as we look to build on the strong start we have had and push for glory. Enjoy!

Finally as you are all aware nearing the start of the current season, Simon Adams, our former chairman, lost his battle with Motor Neurone Disease and I would like to say a few words about the Ginger Prince. This was a very sad time for us all at the club. Simon was an inspiration to many, a great man who made such a difference to the people he came into contact with, both on and off the pitch! His vision and enthusiasm for the club has been instilled in many. We at OPMs have much to thank him for, most notably the creation of our junior section which is now thriving, giving the gift of rugby to the hundreds of youngsters who turn up on a Sunday. We are lucky that this great sport gives us the opportunity to meet amazing people and I speak for the club in saying we are lucky to have known Simon. Thank you for all you have done.

 Henry Matthews

OPMS’ second-row Tom Clenaghan played through the pain to help get his side to tonight’s Lockie Cup final.

Clenaghan, who was also part of the side which got the city club promoted to the Cornwall-Devon League, is facing an operation on a shoulder injury.

The OPMs’ player is ruled out of tonight’s final against Saltash (7.30) – the second time the city club has been in a cup final at Brickfields in a week.

Last week, the club’s seconds won the Plymouth Combination’s Pedrick Cup, also against Saltash.

OPMs’ spokesman and assistant coach Steve Luffman said Clenaghan had been carrying his injury for some time.

The player took part in Saturday’s 20-19 play-off victory against Helston, which put Devon One’s second-placed team into the Cornwall-Devon League.

Luffman said: “Tom should have had an operation on his shoulder a couple of months ago.

“I believe he’s damaged his rotator cuff, but he shut up and put up because he didn’t want to miss the run-in until the end of the season.

“We didn’t know anything about it, until he happened to mention it after we got promoted.

“He did it for all the right reasons and he’s a good man for doing it.”

Clenaghan is replaced in the final by Jake Neville, who has been promoted to the starting line-up after a string of good performances in the seconds.

The second-rower is not the only casualty to miss out on the chance to play at Plymouth Albion’s home.

Matt Glastonbury has a suspected broken cheekbone after an accidental clash on Saturday and a fitness test will be carried out on back Matt Norris shortly before kick-off to ensure a tight hamstring is functioning properly.

Victory at Brickfields could hand OPMs an unusual hat-trick – promotion, the Pedrick Cup and the Lockie Cup.

Luffman, though, feels the pressure is off the team.

He said: “We’re just looking forward to the final. Our season doesn’t hang on winning the Lockie Cup.

“Of course, we’d like to win it, but the pressure is off us a bit.”

Saltash will be tough to beat.

Article from Evening Herald Wednesday 25th April 2012

Double joy for OPMs as they win promotion and reach cup final

Huge day for OPMs, who achieved the difficult in one match and – on paper – the virtually impossible in another.

The city club sent out the second team to contest a Lockie Cup semi-final against Liskeard-Looe II at Elburton while their firsts engaged in the small matter of trying to get promoted via Cornwall-Devon playoffs at Helston, runners up in Cornwall One. The city side’s seconds were not expected to win against the Lions – whose firsts play in Devon and Cornwall League – but triumphed 13-3 to reach next Wednesday’s Lockie Cup final at Brickfields.

Meanwhile, against a Helston side notoriously difficult to beat on their own patch, OPMs firsts scraped into the Cornwall-Devon league by a single point, by 20-19. Head coach Leigh Puttock, who only took over the reins a season ago, said afterwards “We haven’t got a lot of bulk in our forwards, but despite that we got promoted against a side which has, which is a real achievement. Having said that, I ll be looking for a few bruisers for next season, because we’re under no illusions how difficult a job it’s going to be in a higher league. Look at Plymouth Barbarians – they got promoted last season and have done well to stay up this season and you‘ve got to congratulate them for that. We ve got a skilful bunch of lads and at this early stage; our aim next season is to consolidate in the new league. I am incredibly proud of the lads – the seconds have mirrored everything that the firsts do in training, work really hard and the result is we ve got another cup final on Wednesday”

Against Helston, OPMs took the lead when Justin Morton kicked a penalty, but the home side responded with an unconverted try. Flanker Darren Ewers gave the initiative back to the city side with a try he ran in from 20 yards out. Morton missed the conversion in difficult conditions with OPMs leading 8-5 at the interval. The Plymouth team faced a climb up the slope into the teeth of a strong wind in the second period, but went further ahead when Jake Luffman scored after good work from Ben Dean and OPM Legend Matt Glastonbury. With OPMs 13-3 ahead, Helston went on the offensive and pressured the visitor’s goal line. Rhys Phillips and Steve Brown got the ball away, Matt Norris took it on and fed Ash Atkins. The winger sped the length of the field to score under the posts, Morton making no mistake with what turned out to be a vital conversion to give the visitors a 20-5 advantage.

Helston however would not give up the chance of a place in Cornwall-Devon League without a fight and battered their way to within a point of the visitors. Assistant head coach Steve Luffman said “There were a final six or seven nerve-jangling minutes left when Helston got it together, but the referee bless him, blew his whistle to end it”

Back in Elburton, Mark Turners try with a drop goal by Warren Dunkley and rest of OPMs points from Mike Slade’s boot was enough to see off Liskeard-Looe II. Luffman said “We only sent the seconds out to fulfil a fixture and realistically we didn t expect them to win. The firsts couldn’t play the game because they were in Helston. What a result and what a huge day for the club!”